This Day in Minnesota History

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Today's Date: March 29

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William G. LeDuc is born in Wilkesville, Ohio. After moving to St. Paul in 1850, he would open a law office and bookstore and publish three yearbooks publicizing the territory. In 1857 he would move to Hastings, where his mill was the first to offer spring wheat flour. He would also become a general in the Civil War, serve as US commissioner of agriculture, and help develop the Remington typewriter. LeDuc died in 1917.


In St. Anthony, Minnesota's Republicans hold their first formal meeting, during which they discuss the group's strong antislavery stance.


Eugene J. McCarthy is born in Watkins. He would serve in Congress for over two decades, as a representative from 1949 to 1959, and as a senator from 1959 to 1971. In 1968, McCarthy would challenge incumbent president Lyndon Johnson for the Democratic nomination. Running on an anti-Vietnam War platform and making a strong showing in the New Hampshire primary, he helped convince Johnson to drop out of the race. McCarthy, however, would ultimately lose the Democratic Party bid to another Minnesotan: Hubert H. Humphrey.


St. Paul's new 2,000-watt radio station KSTP inaugurates its illustrious broadcasting career in the Northwest with a seven-hour program that offers a "wide variety of entertainment" throughout the evening and runs until 2:00 A.M. the following morning. With beginnings in local stations WAMD (launched by Stanley E. Hubbard in 1923) and KFOY, KSTP would increase its power to a potential 50,000 watts by 1935 and claim to be the only high-fidelity, high-power radio transmitter in the West and the first US station to broadcast to Australia.


Walter H. Deubener, inventor of the handled grocery bag, dies in St. Paul. Owner of the S. S. Kresge store, St. Paul's first cash-and-carry (rather than delivery) grocery store, Deubener devised a bag with a string around the bottom that would enable shoppers to carry additional groceries to their destination.


Ferocious tornado touchdowns strike a dozen communities eastward from Nobles to Wabasha Counties in south-central Minnesota, causing at least one death and numerous injuries, damaging Comfrey and St. Peter, and carrying debris many miles away. Extensive damage in Comfrey forces residents to evacuate from their homes, while the devastation in St. Peter prompts an eyewitness to remark that the city looks "decapitated" and a man in far-off Dakota County catches a falling page from a Le Center school-library book.